Tuesday Links

WaPo: Charging criminals with hate crimes does not disincentivize criminal—or hateful—behavior:

For the most part, hate-crime legislation is just a sop for politically influential interest groups — yet another area in which liberals, traditionally sensitive to civil liberties issues, have chosen to mollify an entire population at the expense of the individual and endorse discredited reasoning about deterrence.

McCain votes “no” on Sotomayor:

Again and again, Judge Sotomayor seeks to amend the law to fit the circumstances of the case, thereby substituting herself in the role of a legislator. Our Constitution is very clear in its delineation and disbursement of power. It solely tasks the Congress with creating law. It also clearly defines the appropriate role of the courts to ‘extend to all Cases in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties.’ To protect the equal, but separate roles of all three branches of government, I cannot support activist judges that seek to legislate from the bench. I have not supported such nominees in the past, and I cannot support such a nominee to the highest court in the land.

* * *

Judicial activism demonstrates a lack of respect for the popular will that is at fundamental odds with our republican system of government. And, as I stated earlier, regardless of one’s success in academics and in government service, an individual who does not appreciate the common sense limitations on judicial power in our democratic system of government ultimately lacks a key qualification for a lifetime appointment to the bench. For this reason, and no other, I am unable to support Judge Sotomayor’s nomination.

Bloomberg compares arguments for and against socialized health care:

President Barack Obama has been exhorting lawmakers to use the August recess to read health- care-reform bills currently before Congress.

In other words, if the president had gotten his way, members would have voted first and read second legislation to revamp one-sixth of the U.S. economy. No wonder public support for both Obama and his health-care plan is eroding, according to recent polls.

Yes, people are resistant to change, as the president noted, especially when it comes to something as important as their doctor. But maybe something else is at play: the growing realization that the numbers don’t add up.

* * *

3. Enhanced Competition

Obama says the government needs to offer a public health- care option to encourage competition. This line of thinking leads “to the uncomfortable conclusion that the government must be a player in every industry,” says Cliff Asness, president of AQR Capital, a hedge fund in Greenwich, Connecticut, who debunks this and other health-care myths in a paper posted on his Web site.

How do other industries manage to be highly competitive without Uncle Sam’s interference?

Unless the public wants health-care outcomes akin to those of the nation’s schools — another sector offering a “public option,” Asness points out — Obama needs a better plan and a more convincing argument.

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